Donna Yates, Move 2 North Why Do Realtors Make Such High Commission?

Why Do Realtors Make Such High Commission?

Cathy Bureau has successfully helped people with their real estate needs in the residential and commercial sectors since 2005.  She has written a very truthful and enlightening post about Realtors® and Commission. Cathy is a Broker/Owner specializing in real estate in San Antonio and Austin Texas. 

I was interviewed yesterday for a unique investor project by Mr. Builder. We talked about the viewpoint each of us have toward the other in terms of typical Realtor or Builder behavior. It was fun and funny. One of the things that came out of the conversation for me was an aha moment about why Realtors are commissioned based and why we get paid as much as we do per transaction. 

There are 2 kinds of people in this world. Those that hunt and kill, and those that prepare the table.  It's hard for the food preparers to understand why a hunter gets paid $5,000, $10,000, or more for a single transaction. Mr. Builder told me, Cathy, when I had a team of marketing people I could hear them complain about Realtors making so much money and complain that they missed something on a contract. They would get pretty darn upset over a small oversight. So one day, I told my marketing staff, no more complaining. You wouldn't have a job if those Realtors didn't bring you any contracts to review or to make flyers. Any of you are welcome to cross over into the sales side, but you need to understand my expectations:

  • Work 6 days a week, and be on call for the 7th.
  • If you are off, dress nice anyway because you may get called into work.
  • No salary. Straight commission. Eat what you kill.
  • If you go on vacation, check in once a day for any pending contracts.
  • You may work 50 hours this week and not make a penny.
  • We're only closed on Christmas Day. If you get a call during your Thanksgiving meal to see a house, drop what you're doing to go show the house.
  • If you don't make any sales in 60 days go look for another job.

Are there any takers?

What many consumers don't understand about Realtors is that we take on a huge risk of not getting paid, even if the buyer buys a house. We can list a house and then something terrible happens at the end that is out of our control, so we don't get paid. Sometimes it looks easy, but many times it isn't. There is the law of averages that makes the difficult easier to absorb; some are easy. We aren't employees - we are at the whim of the consumer for the most part. Sometimes we make tough choices that we don't tell our clients about - giving up our kids' baseball games, missing out on family parties or celebrations. But its part of the job as a fiduciary to our clients.  It's not just about putting a sign in the yard or entering data into MLS. It's about risk and reward.  Thanks Mr. Builder for understanding the difficult nature of our jobs. It's not all fun and games.

Risk = Reward






SunAgent CertifiedCathy Bureau, NAR GREEN, EcoBroker, recently obtained the SunAgent certification being test marketed out of New Jersey for real estate solar education. As the founder of Green Home Realty, Cathy Bureau is an entrepreneur recognized in the industry by builders and colleagues for her expertise in green real estate. She is a member of Build San Antonio Green and the Texas Green Network-SA. You can find her via website:, blogs:, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Natural Awakenings SA Magazine Please contact her directly to schedule her as a guest speaker or for media interviews for your company events.


I Love the Earth



(210) 560-1891 Direct

I would LOVE to HELP YOU buy or sell in the San Antonio-Austin area. Please call me, CATHY BUREAU GREEN Home Realty (210) 560-1891. 

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Donna Yates
Associate Broker, GRI
706-633-0644 Mobile
Serving North Georgia Mountains and Metro
Metro Brokers - Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
706-515-7500 Office







Comment balloon 4 commentsDonna Yates • May 01 2012 04:41PM


Thank you for the blog.  You do make it clear about the risk and the hard work.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) about 7 years ago

Donna, thank you for the kind words and the reblog. Have a blessed evening.

Posted by Cathy Criado, Making Real Estate Profitable (Criado Realty ) about 7 years ago

Donna, now I feel I might have learned something new about the work ethic of a realtor - thanks for this. :)

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 7 years ago

Tim: I thought Cathy's post is so truthful and we just need to do a better job to educate consumers.

Cathy: You post is so well written and truthful and I think you explain the reality of being an agent without sounding defensive. I appreciate that you allowed this post to be re-blogged.

Laura: I guess the old saying, "walk in someone else's shoes" applies.  Our culture is too prone to criticize and judge too quickly and harshly without knowing the truth. Cathy, explained how it really is very well.  Honestly, if we were paid huge commissions and were all rich as I've had several prospects say to me, then there would be more agents in the business not more than half who left the business.

Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) about 7 years ago

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